If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link and be sure to check out TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 1 How to Open an Etsy Shop.
Remember: If you already have a shop, or you open one today, please let us know how to find it! We will be featuring some of our favorite newbie items right here.
In our second class, we're going to focus on something we mentioned as good preparation for before or soon after opening your shop: making a shop banner.
Like our blog banner at the top of this page, your shop banner might be the first thing a visitor sees, and is a way to communicate what you're all about. Consider what our blog banner communicates:
- our name
- the imagery shows an urban scene, with sky-scrappers, but also with the lake, clouds, flowers and trees
- the imagery is recognizably Toronto, what with the street car and dome and CN Tower
- it's laid-out in a line, like a street for our 'street team'
- both the bike and streetcar give a hint to a little more environmentally-friendly, crafty philosophy
- the design of the flowers and trees and so forth are simple and stylized which also hints at some crafty items you might find on Etsy - we can imagine letterpress cards, quilts and toys using shapes like these
- we like to change up the colours seasonally, but it's always colourful!
Our blog banner was designed by talented TEST Leader and graphic designer Michelle of thunderpeep.
Making a shop banner: nuts and bolts
You'll need an image, a .jpg, .png or .gif, 760 pixels by 100 pixels in size. This can be as simple as cropping a digital photo, or scan of your artwork or other product, or something designed and created in image-editing program (for example: Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw or some of the free on-line tools like Aviary or PhotoShop Express Online). The image uploading tool also lets you crop an image you upload, so there is some flexibility in image size.
Once you have a image ready, go to the top right hand side of your Etsy shop, where you'll see a link called Your Shop. If you hover over it, you'll see a pull-down menu where you can find Info & Appearance. On this page, you can Browse to select your Shop Banner Image. Be sure to save it! Then, you'll be able to see how it looks from your shop's front page. Note: if you are still in the process of opening your shop, you go to Your Shop > Preview and click Add shop banner to do the same thing.
But how do I get a great Shop Banner image?
Tip: You can always take advantage of the numerous tutorials Etsy itself provides, like this blog article about making banners - just search the Selling FAQs or blog for any topic of interest.
Let's look at some great banners on Newbie shops, and find out how they did it, to get you started. Consider Michèle Guevara's shop:
She makes 'wearable crochet art'. Her shop banner shows a close-up (high-res) image of one of the necklaces from the current collection ("Costa" necklace). It highlights her technique as the crochet stitches are clearly visible. It sets a colour scheme related to her current collection. I've shown the first row of listings from her shop so you can see how the shop banner ties in with her items. She writes, "For photographs, I look for a white surface and use natural daylight, and interesting angles that would showcase a detail or a special feature of that piece." She was also very conscious of how to select the typeface for the shop name. She writes, that she looked for "a font that was original and gave the appearance of stitched or knitted (hence the curves and how the letters link with each other)". So even the lettering echos what she creates. For her Profile Picture, Michèle has selected a photo of herself, which is a good way to personalize your shop. It's also very a graphic selfie in black and white. Michèle is a graphic designer - and it shows! But if you don't have a graphic design or fine art background, never fear. You can learn from what she and other great looking shops have done.
shop banner is a simple way to tell the story of your shop. As we've seen, you can also design text elements to reflect what you do. Robin of FitzyDesign explains how she came up with her logo which incorporates her shop name by saying, "In designing my logo I knew I wanted something simple, clean, which featured my shop name without being too obviously text based. I started to play around with different shapes, and ideas finally settling on a logo which closely resembles my Leather Shield Necklace. It echoes the modern aesthetic of my line, while reminding me of a family or guild crest. This speaks to the fact that my shop name is derived from my last name (Fitzsimons), and that I am working in a very traditional craft form, leather work, with a very modern aesthetic." You can see how her design evolved in a series of posts she made on her blog.
Another of our Newbie sellers was focused on getting a cohesive look, which spoke to her shop name and contents. Melissa of madeira crafts, decided to support another Etsy seller and bought a shop banner and profile picture set from Dulce Grace Designs.
Melissa of madeira crafts writes, "She had exactly what I was looking for-wood grain and vintage lace. I have been doing a ton of research (before and after listing items in my shop), and so I realized that I needed a cohesive look. Since I use vintage papers in many of my products, I wanted a vintage feel for my branding. Also, the name of my shop, madeiracrafts, is an homage to the Portuguese island where my family originated, and Madeira literally means "wood". So that explains the wood grain. I have also incorporated the wood grain and vintage feel into my business cards and packaging. I embossed my cards in wood grain as well as the backing for my packaging, in addition to a wood grain stamp and vintage lace ribbon I have for shipped items. Hopefully I get to ship something soon!" You can see how Melissa selected to have a Profile Picture which matched her Shop Banner for a cohesive look and message.
There are many Etsy sellers who will sell you a customized shop banner. Some will even barter with you. Amongst TEST members, Michelle of thunderpeep for example traded custom hand-knit goods in exchange for designing the Knitty Little Secret shop banner. Wonderforest sells Etsy Shop banners via her design shop Envye.
I usually go for colour and texture, but sometimes simplicity is best. A very bold, graphic, but simple shop banner does a great job of telling the story of newbie shop SforSKIRT.
What is SforSKIRT all about? Making A-line skirts of course! The banner visually communicates the idea of a sort of handmade A-line skirt factory with an on-going output of skirts. The lovely but imperfect letterpress 'S' really says handmade to me. The slightly wobbly lines of skirts gives a sense of movement line a production line. The number of skirt shapes tells the viewer that SforSKIRT makes many skirts and in fact, you can get them made in your size. Because SforSKIRT makes skirts in all sorts of fabrics, including some bold prints, making a black and white banner goes with everything and is very effective. SforSKIRT also matched the shop banner and profile picture for a cohesive look.
You can even create an effective banner without text at all. After all, below the shop banner is a place for your shop name, in blue, and by-line or brief description. Another lovely, but very simple yet effective shop banner appears on newbie shop RongDesings.
Jennifer of RongDesings makes upcycled furniture focusing on reclaimed and salvaged wood. I love how the shop banner shows some of her artistic process with her using a chisel. Jennifer writes, "I think the banner should show people what the shop offers rather than telling them (that is a banner simply with a name or logo). I also think it makes it more real and that's why I have photos of me working at my workshop as well. I want people to see that I actually make this stuff. ... Above all, I think it's important for your customers to see behind the scenes, or rather to tell them everything. Transparency is so important and it also shows a more human side to business." Her shop banner explains that she's a craftsperson, doing skilled work. It tells the story of what her products are about and is also a message that she not only designs her furniture but handcrafts it, and hence it can command an appropriate price for original, handcrafted furniture. Even a simple photograph can communicate so very much.
We can all learn from this.
Tip: Don't undersell yourself or be shy about showing or explaining the work involved in your creations. This is a frequent newbie pitfall! We'll be covering pricing in a future class, but start off on the right foot and think about what your listings are really worth.
So, now that you've opened your shop we hope you'll feel confident choosing and uploading a great shop banner! As a buyer, when I see a shop without a shop banner it suggests an inexperienced seller, and I may question their reliability, or look up their seller feedback. Especially when you've newly opened your shop it's important to inspire confidence in your potential customers as well as explain what your shop is all about. Got a question or comment about choosing a shop banner? Want to tell us what inspired your shop banner? Leave a comment below!
Toronto Etsy Street Team loves Newbie shops! You can find some of our favorite listings from talented Newbie sellers, including those featured in this class in our new TEST ♥ Newbies section. Be sure to stop by often to see what's new in this evolving, curated treasury of amazing Newbie finds!